committee's best guess at future developments and their results. It is likely that some predictions may be wrong, others may be technically possible but will never become economically feasible, and unforeseen tools, techniques, and applications will be developed. Regardless of the accuracy of our vision, the crop management practices of the twenty-first century will be significantly affected by these information technologies.

Crop yields typically represent only a small portion of the genetic potential of the plants. The loss of yield potential is attributed to the many limiting factors that can affect a plant during its life. The previous sections have described some of those factors, and the decisions that producers can make over the course of a cropping season. Precision agriculture has the potential to affect crop management practices by reducing or removing the effects of limiting factors. It seems clear from the evidence to date that precision agriculture technologies will be used in the management of some factors for some crops in some regions. Major limitations to adoption in a broader range of cropping systems include an incomplete understanding of agronomic parameters and their interactions, the cost of obtaining site-specific data, and a limited ability to integrate information from sources with varying resolutions and timing. There are many possibilities for incorporating detailed information into management decisions. The realization of those possibilities will depend on creative scientists and engineers inventing and improving the tools of precision agriculture.



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